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View Diary: Take those tired memes and shove 'em (275 comments)

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  •  Better: in the spirit of the (23+ / 0-)

    original Haudenosaunee model for participatory democracy, I personally would prefer that we strive to shape our policies in the image of "all the people" and by the people, but very clearly NOT just "for the people", but FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS....because that, to me, is a big part of the problem.

    •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:49:30 AM PST

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    •  Seven generations is a great approach... (10+ / 0-)

      ...but as we can see every time climate change is brought up, urging people to think of policy and lifestyle in terms of their children and grandchildren is tough enough. Asking them to think in terms of their great-great-great-great-great grandchildren is beyond most people's ken. We need a message that helps them understand the need for that.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:01:56 AM PST

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      •  Language. (5+ / 0-)

        No argument. But I think that talking about "your kids and grandkids, and their grandkids" is about as effective as we are likely to get. It needs to be emotionally close, and evoke your desires for your own descendants to have a good, full, happy life.

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:33:30 AM PST

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        •  hey, "for future generations" is broad. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez, ivote2004

          as I stated below, don't even have to go to the "seven generations" idea...

          but I haven't found many folks who've even bothered to question this idea of "for the people" as being too short-sighted and to bring this idea of "for future generations" to the fore.

          I find it works very well if you break it down correctly.

          •  I think that people like the words... (2+ / 0-)

            Future generations.

            But it doesn't motivate enough of us. We respond to what is close and emotionally present.

            It's why the GOP/Fox appeal to fear is so effective. But so can be love and hope. Asking people to vote rationally, only, is swimming upstream, hard. Asking for reasonable things with the language of love and hope is, I think, a must. Because fear is powerful, and has to be countered. And reason doesn't penetrate fear very well.

            "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

            by ogre on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:00:28 AM PST

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            •  Nothing is going to work for everyone (0+ / 0-)

              I have found that talking about "for future generations" works for the people I am addressing, in my classrooms, for example.

              Small potatoes? Mebbe. But it's better than fries, and better than instant (mashed potatoes)! ;-)

      •  Actually, MB, I have found that (4+ / 0-)

        precisely this idea--"for future generations" as opposed to "for the people" works to precisely that end.

        (You don't have to admit right away that we're talking SEVEN generations here....;-)

        Here's the way I break it down: I talk about the Great Law, the Iroquois League, etc.

        I say that Franklin and some of the other founders had great intentions attempting to replicate that model for "participatory democracy", but they made some "small" changes to the model that have had disastrous consequences:

        one--majority rules versus consensus (majority rules works fine until you get to about 60/40. When you're at 49/49 or 51/49, here's the problem with "majority rules"--you're stuck with a profoundly dissatisfied "half"; consensus-based democracy fixes that problem; yep, it's messier; yep, it takes more time and effort, and NOPE, you're never going to get everything you want--that's the point, it's based on compromise, so "single-issue voters" may as well pack up and go home; BUT, in the long-term it's better)

        two--of the people by the people for the people as opposed to "of the people, by the people and for FUTURE generations"; "for the people" as opposed to"for future generations" necessarily leads to the short-sighted, "calculus of the fiscal quarter" thinking that characterizes so much of what we do (not just political policy; consumer habits, conservation habits [or lack thereof], etc.)

        Don't know who you're talking to, but talking to the young people in my community college classes....they get this, they get this in a BIG way, and once they get it, begin thinking in terms of how they can better live up to those ideals first set forth by this country's real founding fathers (and mothers).

        I think you underestimate people's ability to grasp and embrace these ideas--or maybe you're just targeting the wrong people? Dunno. I put my faith in the youngins! ;-)

        •  Of the People, By the People, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grumpelstillchen, Fiona West

          and for the health and longterm well-being of the whole Ecosystem.

          Debugging the messaging is important, and that means getting to the core, finely tuning the essence.... and then presenting that in many many different ways, to many different audiences, on their own terms, in terms they can readily digest.

          #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

          by ivote2004 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:31:28 PM PST

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      •  Agree. I think whatever messages we craft have to (3+ / 0-)

        be long on immediacy.  

        Stretch it to too many distant generations and a sense of urgency is lost.

        "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now". Rev. William Barber, If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:16:37 AM PST

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        •  The older I get, the less I believe in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez

          broad generalizations of what messages we "have" to craft in order to be effective, or to be on the same page.

          What works for one person in one community may or may not work for another in another community. Respecting the diversity of individuals, their approaches, and their efficacy within the specific communities in which they live and work is, imo, key.

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